Summer Youth Programs 2024!

This summer’s Kids Camps have been selected! This year, we are offering 10 camps over an 8 week period beginning June 3rd, 2024. See the descriptions below to learn more about our offerings and our instructors.



This year, we are also offering a new experience for teens. Our new Teen Workshop will be a more skill intensive class meant to help teens develop their skills in a concentrated setting. This class will occur over one weekend, making it easier for busy teens to attend.



Registration and scholarship applications for camps NOW OPEN! 

Scholarship waitlist applications are now being accepted. If a scholarship slot becomes available for your application you will be notified by email.

Kids Camps 2024

Imagination Exploration 

With Anna Early                

June 3 - 7, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Ages: 4 - 7

Tuition and Materials: $150

Come together for a fun-filled week to explore the endless possibilities of art!  Young artists will use familiar (and new) materials like paper, paint, and fibers.  We’ll explore printmaking, painting, and dyeing/ felt work.  Zoom a car across paper and make printed tracks, create your own crown or bracelet, and make masterpieces from your imagination!


Feast for the Eyes

With Anna Early

Two Week Camp: June 3-7 and 10-14

1:30 - 4:30 pm

Ages: 7 - 10

Tuition and Materials: $250

Join us for two fun-filled weeks with a variety of materials as we explore multiple ways to make meals artistic and personal. We will hand-build cups, bowls, and plates with clay to create pieces for everyday use and enjoyment Our tableware will look fabulous atop hand-felted placemats made from wool we’ll dye together at camp. We’ll also learn some printmaking techniques to make tea towels or napkins. At the end of our session, let's celebrate by setting our places and feasting together!


Anna Early enjoys guiding children of all ages to explore their inner-artist and create! She has taught at Penland's Kids Camp for many years, holds a Montessori Teaching Certificate, and has enjoyed working as a teaching artist in Mitchell and Yancey county schools.


Dioramas, Paper Puppets, and Masks

With Lori Brook Johnson

June 17 - 21, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Ages: 6 - 9

Tuition and Materials: $150

Do you like to draw, build worlds, and create characters? Join us for a week filled with dioramas, paper puppets and paper masks. We will make our own characters from the ground up through drawing and paper cutting. These characters will exist in an environment we create for them in the form of a diorama. These imaginary people, creatures and/or animals will then take other forms through paper puppets and paper masks. Time will then be given to act out a short play we write for our creations.  


Lori Brook Johnson is the Teaching Artist for the Schools at Penland School of Craft. She received her MFA at Clemson University and continues her studio practice in drawing at Treats Studios.


Comics and Colored Pencils

With Samantha Kirk

June 17 - 21, 1:30 - 4:30 pm

Ages: 9 - 12

Tuition and Materials: $165

Join us this summer and bring your best ideas for comic books and storytelling with colored pencils. Campers will spend time brainstorming and developing their ideas while practicing colored pencil and drawing skills. We will then fold paper “Zines” (or small paper books), and students will bring their stories to life!  


Samantha Kirk is a middle school art teacher in Mitchell County. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a BFA in Art Education. She is a painter, but also enjoys drawing, fiber arts, and ceramics.


Dyeing to Sew

With Bailey Knight

June 24 - 28, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Ages: 9 - 12

Tuition and Materials: $150

Experiment with traditional dye techniques that use natural dyes, like the plant indigo and the cochineal bug, to decorate cloth with your own personal touch. Later in the week, we will follow a simple sewing pattern to create an innovative shirt out of our experimental cloth. Wearing clothing dyed with natural dyes can remind us that we are also a part of the natural world!


Bailey is a fiber artist who specializes in natural dyes, weaving, and sewing. She has been teaching at the community level since 2017, and started a natural-dye and fiber-arts activity at Rockbrook Camp for Girls in Brevard, NC in 2020.


Learn to Turn

With Wyatt Severs

July 1 - 5, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Ages: 8 - 10

Tuition and Materials: $200

In this class students will learn all about wood turning and all the ways it is used in our lives. Starting with making personalized mallets to fit our grip, we will learn the different processes of creating shapes in woodturning. With these skills each student will create their very own stool. Students will design and make unique legs through spindle turning. Students will also learn to make and use a wedged, mortise and tenon joint for attaching the legs, creating a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture to use in everyday life. Throughout this process, students will also have the opportunity to discuss and make their own small projects. We will cover techniques of painting, using stenciling, mask and layering, and distressed sanding.


Wyatt is a furniture maker and sculptor from Western Kentucky.  He has taught kids classes at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, John C Campbell Folk School and has taught turning and furniture making at Penland's summer camps since 2014. This past year Wyatt taught woodworking and carpentry at the Paducah Area Technology Center for the Kentucky Department of Education.


Insects in Action

With Christine Henry

July 8 - 12, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Ages: 4 - 7

Tuition and Materials: $145

We’ll combine art, stories, music, and move- ment to create a fun and educational experience that’s all about insects. We’ll make wearable wings and playful puppets while learning about beetles, butterflies, and bugs! 


Christine is a glass artist and teacher at Spruce Pine Montessori School who has also taught at Penland’s summer camp and for the Toe River Arts preschool program.


Appalachian Folk Arts

With Sam Maren

July 8 - 12, 1:30 - 4:30 pm

Ages: 9 - 12

Tuition and Materials: $150

Discover the traditional Appalachian arts of hand-tool woodworking: making folk instruments and wooden toys, as well as folk singing and storytelling. We’ll make and play a four foot tall stump fiddle, a waddling duck, a mouth bow and more, as well as engage in storytelling and singing based on traditional Appalachian themes. Come enjoy the Jack Tales, Uncle Remus, tall tales, and folk songs!


Sam is a folk musician, storyteller and woodworker who has been working with children at Penland and in the public schools for over 20 years.


From Imagination to Clay Creation

With Hanna Traynham

Two Week Camp: July 15 - 19 and July 22 - 26, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Ages: 6 - 10

Tuition and Materials: $260

In this course we will imagine, draw, and create clay sculptures using slab and coil building methods! You can create sculptures inspired by real life or from your imagination! We will learn several ways to design our surfaces by adding pattern, texture, carving, and sgraffito. This is your chance to allow your imagination to com to life and learn how to build with clay!



Wheel Throwing for Beginners

With Hanna Traynham

Two Week Camp: July 15 - 19 and 22 - 26, 1:30 - 4:30 pm

Ages: 11 - 14

Tuition and Materials: $280

Have you ever wanted to throw pottery on the potter’s wheel? Come get your hands dirty in this beginning workshop where you can design and create a full set of functional pottery. We will cover techniques such as adding handles and spouts, building up textures, and sgraffito carving. Add your personal touch with colorful glazes and alternative firing practices!


Hannah has taught art in a variety of educational settings all over the U.S. for 15 years. She recently earned an MFA in ceramic arts from East Tennessee State University.


Register Here

Teen Workshop

The Challenge of the Wheel

With Cynthia Bringle

June 22 - 23, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm

Ages 13 - 17

Tuition and Materials: $175

In this intensive skill-focused workshop, students will observe demonstrations of wheel throwing techniques and then practice those techniques with one-on-one consultation with the instructor. Initial skill development will focus on centering, pulling the clay up, and creating walls of equal thickness. For students who are ready, more advanced forms will be explored. This workshop is focused on developing throwing skills and creating forms with direct instruction. We will not do any firing or make finished pieces. Some experience with wheel throwing will be helpful, but is not required.


Cynthia Bringle has instructed and inspired generations of potters. She has taught at Arrowmont (TN), Anderson Ranch (CO), John C. Campbell Folk School (NC), and Penland, is a fellow and trustee emeritus of the American Craft Council, has received the North Carolina Award for Fine Arts, and holds an honorary doctorate from Memphis College of Art.


Register Here

Announcing Inspired by Animals, a collaboration with Mitchell County Animal Rescue

A new, community based camp for teens

Led by artists Lori Johnson and Kurt Anderson, this workshop will introduce multiple approaches to making art inspired by animals, and support our local animal shelter by highlighting pets most in need of adoption. Teen participants will learn a variety of skills that will be applied to making their own animal portraiture, and will take home finished examples using what they have learned and art materials to keep making. Mitchell County Animal Rescue leaders and volunteers will identify animals most in need of adoption to highlight, and pair them with youth participants. Teens will spend time getting to know their partnered animals, create a plywood sculpture inspired by their animal, and participate in the Penland Handmade Parade with their sculptures to draw attention to these animals. The sculptures will then be displayed in a public location following the workshop to draw attention to MCAR and the pets.


This workshop will run June 28 - 29, 2024, from 10 am to 4 pm, and July 6, 2024 from 10 am to 2:30 pm, with participants joining in the Penland Handmade Parade at 7 pm.


Registration is NOW OPEN! Register using the button below.

Scholarship waitlist applications are now being accepted. If a scholarship slot becomes available for your application you will be notified by email.

Register for Inspired by Animals Here!

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